The fully qualified firefighter

The fully qualified firefighter is a skilled technician, occupied in using the most modern equipment, methods and techniques to undertake the full range of firefighting, rescue, road accidents, other emergencies and fire prevention work with which the fire service is called upon to deal.
A fire fighter's working life and training is geared to responding at top speed to emergency calls, regardless of weather conditions or the time of day or night. Each time fire fighters are called to an emergency they must be prepared to deploy each and every skill in which they have been trained. When they arrive at an incident as a team under the command of a sub officer or a leading fire-fighter, sometimes just a fire fighter they may have to absorb a great deal of information rapidly and apply the skills they have learnt in conditions which will often be extremely dangerous and confusing. Despite preparations for such incidents by training they will from time to time be faced with new situations where only they can provide the answer by using previous experience as a guide. A fire-fighter wearing breathing apparatus feeling a way in a smoke filled building with toxic hazards, in order to effect a rescue, cannot ask for instructions. In order to function effectively in emergencies, a fire-fighter's pre-eminent characteristics must be those of courage: general physical strength and the capacity for rapid, intense and sustained effort: an unquestioning acceptance of orders at emergencies combined with the capacity of initiative when alone: the skilled technician's complete and automatic familiarity with the equipment used (which may range up to major items of plant such as turntable ladders): the practical understanding of the basics of a wider range of subjects which will lead to anticipating or overcoming hazards: and sympathy towards the victims of emergencies, combined with the ability to carry on in what may occasionally be emotionally harrowing circumstances.
Outside of attendances at emergencies the firefighter has an important role in the prevention of fire both through the inspection of premises, in accordance with legislation, and through inspection of equipment external to the fire station, e.g. hydrants, which may be used in emergency situations.